The Amana Group was recently given a Letter of Provisional Approval by the Central Bank (CB) to establish a licensed commercial bank named Amana Bank Ltd, and is taking steps to set up the ‘first truly’ Islamic commercial bank in the country, the group said in a press statement.
It said upon achieving certain conditions listed in the Letter of Provisional Approval such as the raising of a minimum capital requirement of Rs. 2.5 billion, Amana Bank expects to receive a banking licence from the CB that will enable it to begin commercial banking operations.
The group said Amana Bank plans to use its position as the first Islamic bank in the country to attract Sharia-compliant investment flows from the Middle East and the Far East. Subject to Malaysian and Sri Lankan regulatory clearances, Amana Bank hopes to utilize the technical expertise and specialized Islamic banking know-how of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (BIMB), which currently holds a 10% stake in AIL, to design and deliver a new range of Islamic banking services, which includes current accounts, foreign exchange transactions, inward and outward remittances, export financing, guarantees, performance bonds, bid bonds, Corporate Treasury placements, private banking, wealth management, long term housing finance, infrastructure financing, agricultural finance, and leasing.
The statement said Amana Bank also plans to actively participate in the government’s ‘Re-awakening of the East’ programme by expanding its branch network in the Eastern Province beyond the currently existing five and offering appropriate Islamic banking solutions to facilitate the resurgence of the Eastern Province’s infrastructure and economy.
The Amana Group has established itself as the pioneer in providing Islamic financial services, from merchant banking to insurance, to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Incorporated in 1997, Amana Investments Limited (AIL), being the investment and financing arm of the Group, offers a range of Sharia-compliant financial solutions to its customers.